The Limits of Criminal Law shines light from the outer edges of the criminal law in to better understand its core. From a framework of core principles, different borders are explored to test out where criminal law’s normative or performative limits are, in particular, the borders of crime with tort, non-criminal enforcement, medical law, business regulation, administrative sanctions, counter-terrorism and intelligence law. Addressing two internationally influential legal traditions, the project carefully juxtaposes and compares English and German law on each of these borders, drawing out underlying concepts and key principles. Each country offers insights beyond their own laws. This double perspective also sharpens a critical understanding of the criminal law, and at the same time produces insights that go beyond the perspective of one legal tradition.

The pro­ject does not pro­mote a single norm­at­ive view of the lim­its of crim­in­al law, but builds a de­tailed pic­ture of the lim­its that ex­ist now and why they ex­ist now. This evid­ence-led ap­proach is par­tic­u­larly im­port­ant in an ever more in­ter­con­nec­ted world in which dif­fer­ent per­cep­tions of crim­in­al law can lead to pro­found mis­un­der­stand­ings between coun­tries. The Lim­its of Crim­in­al Law builds a pic­ture of what shapes the crim­in­al law, where those lim­its come from, and what might mo­tiv­ate leg­al sys­tems to strain, ig­nore or strengthen those lim­its. Some of the most in­ter­est­ing in­sights come out of the com­par­is­on between Ger­man sys­tem­at­ic ap­proach and doc­trin­al lim­its with Eng­lish law’s fo­cus on pro­cess and judg­ment on in­di­vidu­al ques­tions.

With con­tri­bu­tions by Mehmet Arslan (Max Planck In­sti­tute), An­drew Ash­worth (Uni­versity of Ox­ford), Jessie Black­bourn (Uni­versity of Ox­ford), Domin­ik Bro­dowski (Saar­land Uni­versity), Mat­thew Dys­on (Uni­versity of Ox­ford), Marc En­gel­hart (Max Planck In­sti­tute), Jonath­an Her­ring (Uni­versity of Ox­ford), Rory Kelly (Uni­versity of Ox­ford), Hans-Georg Koch (Max Planck In­sti­tute), Grant La­mond (Uni­versity of Ox­ford), Li­ora Laz­arus (Uni­versity of Ox­ford), Frank Mey­er (Uni­versity of Zurich), Ul­rich Sieber (Max Planck In­sti­tute), Joanna Si­mon (private prac­tice), Nikolaos Theodora­kis (Uni­versity of Ox­ford), Ben­jamin Vo­gel (Max Planck In­sti­tute), Re­becca Wil­li­ams (Uni­versity of Ox­ford), Wolfgang Wohlers (Uni­versity of Basel), Lu­cia Zed­ner (Uni­versity of Ox­ford).